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Go After Your Language Learning Goals

Are you passionate about language learning and turning your language skills into your life’s trade? You career could span foreign policy, national security, academia, or any private sector career that necessitates language skills.

If you fall into any of those categories, I have one piece of advice for you. Take a stand and commit. Write down your language learning goals where you can see them everyday and go after them. Without true commitment, your skills will slowly decline until the time comes when you can no longer even list your language accomplishments on your resume. Employers, whether they are in government or the private sector, don’t care about your excuses, they care about results. You owe it yourself and your passion to build momentum with each day that you choose to work on your skills.

Foreigncy has given you the tools and structure to improve and maintain the language skills necessary to turn your passion into your trade, but only you can make the decision to put in the elbow grease. This path is not an easy one, but that’s what makes our careers so great. Not everyone can do what we do and we got into this field because we didn’t want to conform to the norm. We are passionate about world cultures, foreign policy, national security, and the indescribable high you get conversing with a foreigner fluently in another language. You have worked hard to attain your language skills, and you owe to yourself and your life’s mission to not only maintain those skills, but to make a life-long commitment to constant improvement.

Here is a 30 minute Foreigncy routine I recommend doing every morning before work or school:

Step I: Set a timer on your phone for 30 minutes. Once it starts there should be no distractions whatsoever.

  • Go to our Languages Menu to find the day’s language learning set. Our sets teach you anywhere from 30 to 50 vocabulary words that were hand picked by our linguists to help you read a current foreign language news article. Once you have your set picked, read the Article Brief for some context on the words and article before you dive into the Flashcards.

Step II: Flashcards (4 Steps)

  • I recommend starting with the foreign language on front first. Go through all of the cards, “starring” the ones you don’t know and pronounce each word with the help of our audio button.



  • Next, just study the starred cards. This is an amazing tool to overcome the more difficult words.


  • Now study the cards with English on front. This works a different part of your muscle memory and you will be amazed at how one word that gave you no trouble before is suddenly not ringing a bell.



  • After you’ve taken these steps, and think you’ve got the words down, hit the “Shuffle” button and go through it one more time. This is a great opportunity to click the “Add to Profile” button to add any of the flashcards that are still giving you trouble to your personal profile page for later study

Step III: Speed Drill


  • Now that you have a pretty good understanding of the vocabulary, test your speed recognition skills with the Drag & Drop game. You’ll notice that once you hit “Start” a timer appears. Plan on doing this game at least two times and aim to improve your score by a few seconds.


Step IV: Read the Article

  • The time has come for the most important part of our process, reading the article you’ve been preparing for. Click the “Read the Article” button and do one casual read through before taking a second look. The first read is just to familiarize yourself with the article, and the second read should be where you really focus on recalling all of the words you just used. I recommend reading both silently and out loud to practice your pronunciation skills.


Step V: Watch the Video

  • At the top of the language set, you will find a corresponding foreign language news clip. You can either watch this clip before starting the article or after you have completed the set, I personally prefer to watch it after when I have a good grasp of any new vocabulary. Plan on watching the 1-3 minute video three times. You’ll be amazed how you pick up on words that slipped by the first time around.

Now, take out your timer, write down your goals, and get started with these Free Sets 


1 Comment

  1. scurvdogg April 9, 2015 at 1:42 am #

    You mentioned writing down your goals in the post, which is a good thing to do. However, my problem is that I have a long term goal of reaching a certain proficiency level in Arabic but I do not have a “real” plan to achieve this other than spending a certain amount of time each day studying the language (Your site is my main course…so to speak). Could you perhaps suggest any specific strategies you found particularly helpful? I.E. did you dedicate a certain amount of time each day memorizing words, reading texts, listening to news briefs, or studying grammar? How did you break up your study sessions? What are some of the goals you had to help you reach the level you are at today? Any advice would be great!



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